Why is Ruby so popular?
Ruby is a language of careful balance, it’s handy and practical at the same time. Its creator, Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto, blended parts of his favorite languages (Perl, Smalltalk, Eiffel, Ada, and Lisp) to form a new language that balanced functional programming with imperative programming. In Ruby, everything is an object. Every bit of information and code can be given their own properties and actions.
Ruby has a wealth of other features, among which are the following:
- Ruby has exception handling features, like Java or Python, to make it easy to handle errors.
- Ruby features a true mark-and-sweep garbage collector for all Ruby objects. No need to maintain reference counts in extension libraries. As Matz says, “This is better for your health.”
- Writing C extensions in Ruby is easier than in Perl or Python, with a very elegant API for calling Ruby from C. This includes calls for embedding Ruby in software, for use as a scripting language. A SWIG interface is also available.
- Ruby can load extension libraries dynamically if an OS allows.
- Ruby features OS independent threading. Thus, for all platforms on which Ruby runs, you also have multithreading, regardless of if the OS supports it or not, even on MS-DOS!
- Ruby is highly portable: it is developed mostly on GNU/Linux, but works on many types of UNIX, Mac OS X, Windows, DOS, BeOS, OS/2, etc.
With Ruby there is also a wealth of resources out there to help you. There is no shortage of help from the open source community and plenty of frameworks to chose from.